Global Investing

The Big Five: themes for the week ahead

July 13, 2009

Five things to think about this week

– The tussle between bullish and bearish inclinations — with bears gaining a bit of ground so far this month — is being played out over both earnings and economic data. Alcoa got the U.S. earnings season off to a good start but a heavier results week lies ahead and could toss some banana skins into the market’s path. Key financials, technology bellwethers (IBM, Google, Intel), as well as big names like GE, Nokia, Johnson and Johnson will offer more food for thought for those looking past the simple defensive versus cyclical split to choices between early cylicals, such as consumer discretionaries, and late cyclicals, such as industrials, based on the short-term earnings momentum. Macroeconomic data will need to confirm the picture painted by last week’s unexpectedly German strong orders and production figures┬áto give bulls the upper hand.

The Dow: A long way down

February 23, 2009

U.S. stock indices hit an 11-year low on Feb. 23, as stocks continued their sharp decline from the peak of 2007. This chart looks at some key events that helped to drive stocks down over the last 16 months.U.S. stock indices hit an 11-year low on Feb. 23, as stocks continued their sharp decline from the peak of 2007. This chart looks at some key events that helped to drive stocks down over the last 16 months. Warning: This may cause post-traumatic flashbacks in some investors.1 – Oct. 9 2007U.S. stocks rose to record highs on speculation the Federal Reserve was on course to cut borrowing costs further to revive economic growth. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 120.80 points, or 0.86 percent, to end at 14,164.53, a record.2 – Oct. 19 2007Caterpillar Inc.’s warning that the housing slump was infecting the wider economy sent U.S. stocks tumbling by the most in more than two months, in a drop that was made more unnerving as it marked the 20th anniversary of the 1987 market crash.The Dow fell 366.94 points, or 2.64%, to end at 13,522.02.3 – Feb. 5, 2008U.S. stocks suffered their biggest drop in nearly a year after the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index data showed the worst monthly contraction in the services sector since the last U.S. recession and Standard & Poor’s warned it could cut bank credit ratings.The Dow had its biggest drop since the indicator was created in 1997, down 370.03 points, or 2.93 percent. Settling at 12,265.13, the index was at its lowest level since October 2001, aggravating fears that a recession was at hand.4 – June 6, 2008U.S. stocks extended losses as surging oil prices fueled inflation fears, adding to concerns sparked by a government report that showed the unemployment rate had its sharpest rise in 22 years in May.The Dow fell 3.13 percent to close at 12,209.815 – Sept. 29, 2008Stocks tumbled after the U.S. House of Representatives voted against a compromise bailout plan that would have let the Treasury Department buy toxic assets from struggling banks. House Republicans, in particular, balked at spending so much taxpayer money just before the Nov. 4 U.S. elections.The Dow fell 6.98 percent to 10,365.45 points.6 – Oct. 15, 2008Wall Street had its worst day since the 1987 stock market crash, as bleak economic data fed worries that efforts to unlock credit markets might not stave off a severe recession. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke added to those concerns when he said the economy faced a “significant threat” from paralyzed credit markets.The Dow fell 7.87 percent to 8,577.91.7 – Dec. 1, 2008U.S. bank stocks suffered their biggest one-day decline in the current financial crisis, on expectations a deepening global economic slump would reduce employment, crimp access to credit and spur more writedowns.The Dow fell 7.7 pct to 8,149.09– Chris Sanders

from MacroScope:

Political poster child?

January 7, 2009

George Alogoskoufis is a hardly a household name outside Greece and EU financial circles. But the newly sacked Greek finance minister could yet become a poster child for politicans struggling to fight off economic decline and banking industry collapse. His demise was in large part due to a public perception that he was helping out the banks but ignoring rising joblessness.